Lebanon: Formalities of a marriage between a Sunni Palestinian woman and a Shiite Lebanese man; whether the authorization of the woman's family and parents is required for a permanent or temporary marriage; whether a temporary marriage performed between two parties without a witness or a civil or religious authority is legal and is religiously or morally valid (1998-Mar. 2005)
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||17 March 2005|
|Citation / Document Symbol||LBN43437.FE|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Lebanon: Formalities of a marriage between a Sunni Palestinian woman and a Shiite Lebanese man; whether the authorization of the woman's family and parents is required for a permanent or temporary marriage; whether a temporary marriage performed between two parties without a witness or a civil or religious authority is legal and is religiously or morally valid (1998-Mar. 2005), 17 March 2005, LBN43437.FE, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/42df611e29.html [accessed 19 June 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Several sources indicated that civil marriage is not permitted in Lebanon and that only religious marriages are allowed; however, civil marriages performed outside of Lebanon are recognized there (Country Reports 2004 28 Feb. 2005, Sec. 2; Country Reports 1999 23 Feb. 2000, Sec. 5; International Religious Freedom Report 2004 15 Sept. 2004, Sec. II; L'Orient-Le Jour 9 June 2004; The Daily Star 22 Jan. 2004). The International Religious Freedom Report 2004 indicated that intermarriage is common in Lebanon (15 Sept. 2004, Sec. II), while the Middle East Quarterly indicated in September 2000 that these marriages were infrequent. In terms of marriages between Lebanese citizens and Palestinians, a survey conducted among Lebanese citizens showed that half of the respondents would not agree to marry a Palestinian (The Middle East Quarterly Sept. 2000).
On 15 March 2005, a representative from the Embassy of Lebanon in Ottawa provided the following information during a telephone interview. A Shiite Lebanese man can marry a Sunni Palestinian woman without any problems in Lebanon, even though the woman is not Lebanese. For this marriage to be recognized, two male witnesses (who are not necessarily related to the couple) and a religious authority (a sheik in this case) must be present. If the parents do not approve of the marriage, the couple can still marry as long as the woman is at least 18 and has already been married and divorced. A woman who is over 18 and who is getting married for the first time must obtain the authorization of a male relative. The representative also said that there are no temporary marriages in Lebanon because all of the marriages are performed by religious authorities before they are registered with the government, which renders the marriage religiously and legally valid.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2004. 28 February 2005. "Lebanon." United States Department of State. Washington, DC.
Country Reports on Human Rights Practicess for 1999. 23 February 2000. "Lebanon." United States Department of State. Washington, DC.
The Daily Star [Beirut]. 22 January 2004. Majdoline Hatoum. "Marriage, Lebanese-Style: What's Love Got to Do With it?"
Embassy of Lebanon in Ottawa. 15 March 2005. Telephone interview with a representative.
International Religious Freedom Report 2004. 15 September 2004. "Lebanon." United States Department of State. Washington, DC.
The Middle East Quarterly [Philadelphia]. September 2000. Simon Haddad. Vol. 7, no. 3. "The Palestinian Predicament."
L'Orient-Le Jour [Beirut]. 9 June 2004. "Le mariage civil : une formule à bon prix." (Dialog).
Additional Sources Consulted
Ten professors of anthropology, sociology or women's studies who are specialists on Lebanon did not provide any information within the time constraints.
Internet sites, including: Amnesty International (AI), European Country of Origin Information Network (ECOI), Freedom House, Human Rights Watch (HRW), World News Connection (WNC).